Baba Ganoush is a rich and creamy spread that combines smoky charred eggplant, tahini, lemon juice, and garlic and is perfect served with fresh pita and vegetables for dipping.
Baba ganoush is one of those dishes that truly celebrates the eggplant and showcases it in a way many other recipes do not.
Successful baba ganoush has a distinct smoky flavor that comes from completely charring the eggplant in its skin prior to combining it with the other ingredients.
This creamy eggplant spread hails from the Eastern Mediterranean region of western Asia but has variations throughout North Africa as well as Europe.
How to make it
Each number corresponds to the numbered written steps below.
- Turn a gas burner to medium heat and place 2 large or 3 medium-sized Italian eggplants on top, turning every 2-3 minutes or until completely charred on all sides.
- Cook the eggplants until a knife can pierce all the way through with zero resistance. This may take 15-20 minutes. Note: you can use other methods of cooking the eggplant, including halving the eggplant and scoring the flesh then roasting in the oven as we did with our stuffed eggplant, or charring over coals on an outdoor grill. Not matter which way you cook the eggplant, they must be completely cooked through.
- Place the eggplants in a large bowl and cover with plastic wrap for 10-15 minutes.
- Remove the plastic wrap and place the eggplants onto a work surface. Using a knife, peel or remove the skin and scoop out the tender flesh. The skin can be discarded along with any part of the eggplant that is still hard. Place the eggplant flesh in a mesh strainer and press to remove excess moisture.
- Place the eggplant on a cutting board and chop it finely. Note: if opting to use a food processor in the mixing step below just omit this chopping step.
- Add the eggplant to a large clean and dry bowl along with 3 cloves of grated garlic, 3/4 teaspoon of cumin, 3 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice, 1/4 cup of tahini, 1/4 cup Greek yogurt, and 1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil. Any large pieces of eggplant can be smashed with a fork. Mix well, taste test, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Refrigerate until cool, about 30-40 minutes, but overnight will be even better as it will allow the flavors to intensify. Serve the baba ganoush with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, pita, and fresh veggies. Enjoy!
- Eggplant. Choose eggplants that are shiny and firm. No need to check for male or female eggplants because that is a myth. For more on this and other food myths, listen to our podcast episode Busting Culinary and Food Myths.
- Cooking the eggplant. Pictured above, Jim demonstrates how to char the eggplant using a gas burner. You can also score and roast the eggplant in the oven or cook it over charcoal on an outdoor grill. The important thing is that the skin gets completely charred and the eggplant is super soft. What is super soft? It means a knife will slide right through the eggplants with zero resistance.
- Mixing. We mixed our baba ganoush in a bowl with the other ingredients, but you can use a food processor if a smoother consistency is desired.
- Let it chill. While baba ganoush can be served after chilling for 30-40 minutes, it will be even better the next day when the flavors have intensified.
More eggplant recipes
We love eggplant and have many recipes to share with you! Here are a few of our favorites.
- Eggplant Caponata – Sicilian spread with eggplant, tomatoes, olives, pine nuts, and raisins.
- Eggplant Parmigiana – no breadcrumb Sicilian-style eggplant parm.
- Italian pickled eggplant – this tasty condiment is great on bread or sandwiches.
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- 2 large Italian eggplant about 2 pounds
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil plus more as needed
- 1/4 cup Greek yogurt
- 1/4 cup tahini
- 3 cloves garlic grated
- 3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- salt and pepper to taste
- Turn a gas burner to medium heat and place the eggplants on top, turning every 2-3 minutes or until completely charred on all sides. Cook until a knife can pierce all the way through the eggplant with zero resistance (about 15-20 minutes). See notes below for other cooking methods.
- Place the eggplants into a large bowl and cover with plastic wrap for 10 minutes.
- Remove the plastic wrap and place the eggplants onto a work surface. Peel or remove the skin with a knife. Scoop out all of the tender eggplant flesh and discard the skin. If any part of the eggplant is hard, discard that part as well.
- Place the eggplant into a mesh strainer and press to remove the excess moisture, then chop the eggplant.
- Add the strained eggplant, garlic, cumin, lemon juice, tahini, Greek yogurt, and olive oil into a large mixing bowl. Mix well. Any large pieces can be smashed with a fork. Taste test and season with salt and pepper to taste. Refrigerate until cool (about 30-40 minutes) but overnight is preferred and the flavor will be much better.
- Serve baba ganoush with a hefty drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and with pita, pita chips, or veggies. Enjoy!
- Baba ganoush tastes way better the next day so if possible make one day ahead.
- Make sure to season to taste with plenty of salt and pepper after mixing the ingredients!
- The eggplant can be roasted in the oven by cutting it in half and scoring the flesh. Roast eggplant face down at 425f until completely tender (about 30 minutes). Another method is to place the eggplant on top of a hot charcoal grill and again cook until completely soft on all sides (about 20 minutes).
- A food processor can be used to make a smoother more incorporated baba ganoush.
- Leftovers can be saved for up to 5 days in the fridge.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.